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Hearts and Flurries: Valentine's Day Snow Sets Stage for Winter's Return

If you recall at the end of January, I wrote an article on how the first half of February will feature 'above' average temperatures and don't let that fool you into a "Winter Cancel."

This February will indeed be a February of two halves, first 2 weeks looking slightly above average and the second half, dipping back down to average - below average temperatures with an active pattern for storms.

Surface Analysis Map (2/9/24)

A Bermuda High Pressure will dominate the East-coast this weekend, ushering in spring-like temperature's. Temperatures will be 10-15 degrees above average for this time of year, with locations possibly reaching into the 60's this weekend. However, we will be lacking sufficient sunlight as we have these warm temperatures. Cloud cover looks to dominate most of the weekend but I don't expect any type of precipitation at this time.

The Pattern Changer

EURO 500mb heights (2/13)

After this weekend, we are turning our attention to around Valentine's Day (2/13 - 2/14) for a potential snow threat for New Jersey. No matter if this turns out to be a rain or small snow event, it will be the beginning of the pattern change for our colder and more active pattern over the next month.

GFS Surface Map (2/13)

EURO Surface Map (2/13)

There is a storm threat right near Valentine's Day, the details of what kind of storm it will be are slowly coming together. Currently, the GFS (which is the outlier) is painting a decent snow storm for all of New Jersey. This scenario would bring the biggest snow fall of the season if it played out. The European model has a slightly different idea, the low pressure system is slightly more North and we have a rain / snow event for the state. Northern New Jersey seeing a mixture of everything and Southern sections seeing mostly rain.

The Details

The difference between a significant snow storm and a mixture event is when our two shortwaves phase (combine) to create that powerful low pressure system off the coast of New Jersey. The GFS phase's our two shortwaves much sooner than the GFS, which helps keep our energy further South. Following the image above, the GFS (black indicator) phases faster, which keeps the system more South and allows cooler air to fill in to our North and allow for a potential significant snow storm. The European (Blue indicator), phases a bit later, which allows the energy to drift north and keep the cooler air trapped further North. This would create a rain event for Southern sections and a mix bag of precipitation further North in our region.

Currently, the GFS has been the only model showing any signs of an earlier phase. I would take the GFS output as a low probability at this time until it gains more support from other models.

Winter Returns

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

After our Valentine's Day storm passes, our whole pattern looks to shift back to more of a Wintry setup with below average temperatures and an active pattern. Our teleconnections are forecasted to lineup perfectly from the middle of February to the beginning of March. With the NAO going negative, AO going negative, and the PNA going positive, we are heading into a favorable environment where cold and stormy pattern could take place.

Arctic Oscillation (AO)

Pacific-North American Oscillation (PNA)

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)


Valentine's Day storm potential for New Jersey. GFS is the outlier with the most favorable setup for a significant snow storm. Euro and other models show more of rain storm for Southern sections while a mix bag of precipitation for Northern sections. Impact map will be made over the next 24-hrs if needed.

After V-Day storm, a pattern change looks to take place with below average temperatures to close out February and a favorable pattern for snow storms. Winter is back from its break and looks to be here through March.

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